The Guardian calls De Valera pro-German

cry freedom

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If De Valera had been pro german he would have hardly have cracked down on the IRA as savagely as he did,
It's my belief that he cracked down on the IRA [ including executing some of them, by the way] because he was afraid that their pussyfooting with the Nazis would give the Allies the excuse they needed to come in on top of us like a ton of bricks.
Also, they were a direct threat to his authority, and he couldn't have that.
Nothing to do with him being pro or anti German. [IMHO of course]
 


Riadach

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If de valera had been pro german he would have hardly have cracked down on the IRA as savagely as he did,
Neither would he have expelled 150 Germans on the eve of the war, or have got in contact with London in 1938, with indications that there was a German intelligence network being established in Ireland.
 

Cruimh

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It's my belief that he cracked down on the IRA [ including executing some of them, by the way] because he was afraid that their pussyfooting with the Nazis would give the Allies the excuse they needed to come in on top of us like a ton of bricks.
I don't think they would have needed an "excuse" - if the UK had thought it in their best interests to occupy the 26 they would have just done it.

Yes, it's a point about them challenging his authority - but all he had to do, if he had been pro german, was come to an arangement with them that if they kept their noses clean on home soil they could help the Germans by doing what they wanted in the UK.
 

borntorum

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Apart from the De Valera business, what concrete problems do you have with their coverage of the Pope's visit? A couple of examples would suffice.

All I have seen so far is fair criticism, much of which I agree with. Whether this criticism is aggressive or not is a moot point.

I'm getting a little worried about how this throwaway adjective "aggressive" is getting applied willynilly to strong legitimate criticism.

The term "aggressive secularism" seems to be a very successful conservative catholic sound-byte. As applied to the Guardian I can only provisionally conclude that it has no legitimate factual basis.

You disagree. I'd be grateful if you could spell out why. The Dev remark would seem only marginally relevant.
I don't intend to get into a long debate about this, because I started this thread to highlight the comment regarding Dev, and the opening paragraph was for little more than context-setting.

But looking solely at other quotes from the same editorial:

But the pope is not in any sense a modern man. He believes that there is only one Christian church – his – which represents the word of God. He was quite clear yesterday about the difficulties that the ecumenical path of unity between the Catholic and Anglican churches has encountered and continues to encounter. Further, he believes that there is only one one spiritual source – again his – from which all our values derive. He is attacking not only the Reformation, the separation of church and state, but the very basis on which a secular society is built.
Pretty much all churches say that they are the sole possessors of truth. Why else would one be a member of one church if you didn't think it was better or more accurate than the rest? (BTW, I think the RC Church believes that the Orthodox sects are full Churches, so teh grauniad is inaccurate on that score). And the allegation that the Pope is attacking 'the very basis on which a secular society is built' is just thrown out with no explanation or support. It's a cliché, but that doesn't stop it being true: do you think the Guardian would dare say something similar about Islam, a religion much less willing to recognise a separation between church and State than Catholicism?

Then the final line:

A little less preaching and a bit more humility might help the next state visit of a pope.
From what I've read, even many non-believers and non-Catholics in Britain were impressed with the approach of the Pope on his trip. Again, no examples of the Popes preaching and lack of humility from the leader writer.

In addition, you don't have to be a conservative Christian to see the irony of the Guardian criticising others for being preachy.

I'm not a practising Catholic, and there is a lot I find unpleasant about the institutional church, and religion in general. But if one is to attempt to have a balanced analysis of the Catholic Church and Christianity, one has to recognise that the churches do a lot of good both here and in the developing world, that they provide spiritual comfort to millions, if not billions of people, and that our Western civilisation and society has been built to a large extent on Christianity. Just because you, or I, may disagree or dislike one or more of those facts, you can't simply dismiss them and focus entirely on the negative.
 

Toland

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..., one has to recognise that the churches do a lot of good both here and in the developing world, that they provide spiritual comfort to millions, if not billions of people, and that our Western civilisation and society has been built to a large extent on Christianity. Just because you, or I, may disagree or dislike one or more of those facts, you can't simply dismiss them and focus entirely on the negative.
But I don't accept that these 'facts' are entirely true.
 

TommyO'Brien

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TommyO'Brien

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Did Dev not have himself driven around to the German Legation and sign the book of condolence on the death of Hitler.
Were these two acts, the visit and the signing, standard practice in the diplomatic protocols of the day.
Yes they were. Most states ignored them in the case of Hitler's death, however. Dev didn't not out of any respect for Hitler but because he felt the German ambassador in Dublin had acted honourably in Ireland (unlike many other German ambassadors in other countries). So he felt that he should as a matter of courtesy fulfil the formal diplomatic niceties that surround the deaths of heads of state, and Hitler was a head of state, as a closing act in the diplomat's career, as it was obviously the Reich was effectively collapsing and Herr Hempel would cease to have a country to represent. So the aim was to show respect to Herr Hempel, not because of any respect for Hitler.

It was a bad mistake. But for people to imply some sort of sympathy with Germans or the Nazis is preposterous. Far from it - de Valera secretly passed information on the Nazis to the Allies, and helped them in numerous ways. For example, D-Day relied heavily on weather information about North Atlantic storm movements. That information came from Ireland. We got them the most up-to-date information, while for D-Day giving the Germans the wrong forecast so that they would think the weather made an Allied landing unlikely and so were caught unawares.
 

sondagefaux

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Some concrete examples of the help given to the Allies by Ireland during WWII:


In my latest book, Behind the Green Curtain, I argue that de Valera could not have provided more help to the Allies during World War II. But he was acting as head of government and certainly not as a spy.

He authorised Irish diplomats to be used as American spies on the continent. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime forerunner of the CIA, formulated questions that were given to the Department of External Affairs in Dublin. These were sent to the diplomats in Berlin, Rome and Vichy, and Dublin forwarded the replies to the OSS.

This was handled by Joe Walshe, secretary of the Department of External Affairs, in cooperation with Ervin Marlin of the OSS. De Valera was helping the Allies because he believed that the defeat of fascism was in Ireland’s interest.
So Dev was

On the naval side of things G2 facilitated a RN's officer's inspection of the southern coast in 1939 to check for U-boats (which he didn't find), from then on it forwarded info gained from Irish coast watchers to the Admiralty. In 1941 the Admiralty were provided, on government orders, with detailed info on various Irish ports. As has been already stated, crashed Allied craft were recovered where possible & returned to their owners. Although initially interred alongside their Axis counterparts, Allied servicemen were subsequently sent back to the UK. The Allies were also in constant receipt of weather reports. The army co-ordinated planning with their UK counterparts, several army officers were sent to Britain for further training.

The biggest area of co-operation was intelligence. Both Garda Special Branch and G2 provided MI5 with intellegence gathered from intercepted communications of Axis legations, notes on the movements of Axis nationals and details of the interrogations of captured agents. One such interrogation gave up vital information on German cyphers that proved very useful to the Allies towards the end of the war.*

(*=private papers of Dr. Michael Hayes, National Library)
Cecil Liddell, the head of MI5's Irish section at the time, gave two ************************es. In a telegram to G2 in Jan 1944 he said:

'Page and self delighted to come over when you think suitable stage if interrogation reached... Information about cyphers and device of great interest. Your preliminary report on radio indicates it may be of type not hitherto known here.'

Denys Page was deputy head of the UK's code and cypher school and an expert on Abwehr cyphers. In the last year of the war the Germans brought in an entirely new system of 'substitution and transposition' cyphers. Dr. Hayes was subsequently told 'that this whole set of cyphers would never have been solved without this vital piece of information culled from (the captured agent)'s work.'

So, too, did the Admiralty. If they weren't interested in reports from the Irish coast they wouldn't have attempted to form their own clandestine coast watching network in 1939.
The help Ireland gave to the allies during WWII [Archive] - IMO Discussion Board

Short piece on Ireland's 'benevolent neutrality' policy and actions:

The War Room - Ireland's Neutrality
 

Máistir na Cruinne

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Whoever wrote that Guardian article and described Eamon DeValera as pro-German must know Jack Sh*t about Irish history
 

cry freedom

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Yes they were. Most states ignored them in the case of Hitler's death, however. Dev didn't not out of any respect for Hitler but because he felt the German ambassador in Dublin had acted honourably in Ireland (unlike many other German ambassadors in other countries). So he felt that he should as a matter of courtesy fulfil the formal diplomatic niceties that surround the deaths of heads of state, and Hitler was a head of state, as a closing act in the diplomat's career, as it was obviously the Reich was effectively collapsing and Herr Hempel would cease to have a country to represent. So the aim was to show respect to Herr Hempel, not because of any respect for Hitler.

It was a bad mistake. But for people to imply some sort of sympathy with Germans or the Nazis is preposterous. Far from it - de Valera secretly passed information on the Nazis to the Allies, and helped them in numerous ways. For example, D-Day relied heavily on weather information about North Atlantic storm movements. That information came from Ireland. We got them the most up-to-date information, while for D-Day giving the Germans the wrong forecast so that they would think the weather made an Allied landing unlikely and so were caught unawares.
Just to nail this one down, [for posterity]
You are saying that for the death of all other heads of state Dev got into his limo and drove around to their embassies and offer his condolence?
There must have been a few during his long reign as leader of this country.
I ask out of a genuine spirit of inquiry and not to be a smart ass.
 

merle haggard

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Just to nail this one down, [for posterity]
You are saying that for the death of all other heads of state Dev got into his limo and drove around to their embassies and offer his condolence?
There must have been a few during his long reign as leader of this country.
I ask out of a genuine spirit of inquiry and not to be a smart ass.
what seems to be obvious to me - bearing in mind i despise both De Valera and the nazi regime alongside British imperialism - is that on hearing the news of Hitlers death accompanied by the imminence of a german defeat it was obvious to anyone with an ounce of political nous that a new regime in Germany was then imminent . He was hardly aiding and abetting any nazi regime when it was in its final death throes , in fact to all intents and purposes stone dead by that stage . It would appear to me that extending diplomatic protocol towards the german people was a diplomatic attempt to acknowlege on behalf of the Irish people that the german people themselves were not animals or demons and should not be regarded as such , Ireland not regarding them as such at any rate . As well as emphasising Irelands neutrality and non emnity towards them . The fact that within a year - correct me if im wrong - Eire was the very first state to entertain the west german soccer team ( the reason why the thankful german team adopted a green away strip from then on) would seem to bear this political logic out . I doubt very much the two events were unrelated , the first sporting event involving a german team in europe obviously had quite a bit of political significance at the time .In my opinion the gesture was a nod in the direction of a german people now free of nazism and an imminent peace and not in any manner a nod towards Nazism .
Jesus it takes a British media for me to end up defending feckin DeValera but to me it appears logical on that basis .

Not that I agree with his decision , simply that it would appear to have a logic to it that was benign in intent and thats supported in my view by the speedy Irish engagement with the german international team nobody else wanted to play .
 

Old Mr Grouser

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Jesus it takes a British media for me to end up defending feckin DeValera but to me it appears logical on that basis .
All that the Guardian said was "What about pro-German De Valera, or Spain, Croatia and Slovakia, where the Catholic church was pro-Nazi? "

The Guardian made a reference to, "Spain, Croatia and Slovakia, where the Catholic church was pro-Nazi".

In regards to DeValera the Guardian said, "What about pro-German De Valera"

And DeValera was pro-German, from 1932.
 

Dasayev

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what seems to be obvious to me - bearing in mind i despise both De Valera and the nazi regime alongside British imperialism - is that on hearing the news of Hitlers death accompanied by the imminence of a german defeat it was obvious to anyone with an ounce of political nous that a new regime in Germany was then imminent . He was hardly aiding and abetting any nazi regime when it was in its final death throes , in fact to all intents and purposes stone dead by that stage . It would appear to me that extending diplomatic protocol towards the german people was a diplomatic attempt to acknowlege on behalf of the Irish people that the german people themselves were not animals or demons and should not be regarded as such , Ireland not regarding them as such at any rate . As well as emphasising Irelands neutrality and non emnity towards them . The fact that within a year - correct me if im wrong - Eire was the very first state to entertain the west german soccer team ( the reason why the thankful german team adopted a green away strip from then on) would seem to bear this political logic out . I doubt very much the two events were unrelated , the first sporting event involving a german team in europe obviously had quite a bit of political significance at the time .In my opinion the gesture was a nod in the direction of a german people now free of nazism and an imminent peace and not in any manner a nod towards Nazism .
Jesus it takes a British media for me to end up defending feckin DeValera but to me it appears logical on that basis .

Not that I agree with his decision , simply that it would appear to have a logic to it that was benign in intent and thats supported in my view by the speedy Irish engagement with the german international team nobody else wanted to play .

Sorry, Merle but this is not true. Ireland was the fifth team to play Germany after the war. I think the green away strip either refers to Saxony or else it's simply derived from the colours of the German FA.
 

cry freedom

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Just to nail this one down, [for posterity]
You are saying that for the death of all other heads of state Dev got into his limo and drove around to their embassies and offer his condolence?
There must have been a few during his long reign as leader of this country.
I ask out of a genuine spirit of inquiry and not to be a smart ass.
Sorry to labour this point folks but I really need to get it straight in my head.
I have lost count of the times I have been berated by Alf Garnett types when working in England over the way Dev signed the book of condolence on the death of Hitler.
Starting from the assumption that Dev was a stickler for protocol,[the most often used fig leaf], was there any difference in the way he marked the death of Hitler to the way he marked the death of other heads of state who died over his long terms in office. For instance FDR or George vi.
If he behaved exactly the same on these [and other] occasions his detractors have no case. If he did not, well.....?
Does anybody have the answer or am I going to have to ring Tim Pat Coogan?
 


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